Reviews, Screen, TV

Why ABC’s ‘Recognition: Yes or No?’ proves Andrew Bolt can’t be beaten

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If you haven’t heard, former PM John Howard has been bussed into ABC HQ to launch his, erm, career as a program presenter with Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia. Just three days after the first episode is broadcast another dyed in the wool conservative, Andrew Bolt, will crash Auntie’s airways, messing with the minds of those leftie beatniks who usually look after the programming schedule. When they get back from annual leave in Byron Bay, they’re gonna think the hash biccies still haven’t worn off.

Teaming up with Indigenous Labor MP Linda Burney (though the scope of this article is on Bolt and shock jocks more broadly), the controversial stuffed shirt embarks on a road trip to meet various people for and against whether our Constitution should recognise Aboriginal Australians as the First Australians.

No prizes for guessing who advocates what. One of several instances Bolt has used the term “political aborigine” appears in an op-ed imploring readers to “go beyond black and white”. This article was, somewhat ironically, found guilty of racial vilification. Though the show’s creators pretend otherwise, Recognition: Yes or No? is geared around two people who are never, ever going to charge their mind on this issue, talking to others who feel the same way.

When the pair visit Stan Grant at the gym (he sits down after a round with a speed bag) Bolt says that, gosh, he would hate for the Constitution itself to be racist by dividing us forever (“an attempt to address racism by a more explicit racism”). When they meet an Indigenous man who has renounced his Australian citizenship and claimed sovereignty, Bolt asks: we’re both humans, so why would you want to separate us? In other words, why are you being so racist?

Watching an hour of Andrew Bolt explaining why everybody else is wrong (with support from the likes of Cory Bernardi) reminded me of something I learnt during my university years. The pastime I am about to mention may not be the wildest way to spend your off-campus life, but then again this is coming from somebody who invested a disproportionate amount of time on the couch with munchies.

For a while I really got into listening to talkback radio. Not the youth-targeted programs hosted by trendy pancake turners who do stand-up comedy in their spare time, no. I tuned in to people exchange bile about issues of the day. Which is to say, I listened to Stan Zemanek and Steve Price. I felt like an ethnologist observing these strange, easily perturbed creatures in their natural habitat, figuring I was learning a thing or two about how they pursue their prey.

I came to believe they were masters at constructing a certain kind of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t style question. The sort where an answer in the affirmative would indicate you’re an idiot and an answer in the negative, that you’re a hypocrite. A question Bolt poses to Grant in Recognition: Yes or No? is a good example: “Should racism be in the constitution, as in, we now divide forever on the grounds of race?”.

You can’t answer yes and you can’t answer no. It’s a technique designed to beat opponents by presenting options that don’t fit the parameters of that person’s opinion (this is why politicians often say “I reject the premise of your question”). One time, listening to Price, I thought I had a good one. The conversation on-air was about harm minimisation and safe injecting rooms for heroin addicts. I believe such rooms are a good idea; Price thinks otherwise.

So a young-20s “Luke from Surrey Hills” calls up seeking only an answer to the following: “Would you prefer heroin addicts to take drugs in a controlled setting or would you prefer them to inject in public parks, around families and children?” See what I did there? Price was beaten, surely.

Except the diminutive acid-tongue was more skilled at argy-bargy than me; it was literally his day job. After some squawking back and forth, the shock jock delivered a comeback I never saw coming. He one-upped my zinger-question with a zinger question of his own: “What would you do, Luke, with the man arrested at Melbourne Airport last week carrying three kilograms of ecstasy? Shake his hand and say welcome?”

This is why someone like Bolt can never be beaten. When you take what is essentially a moral issue (in this case reconciliation) and frame the discussion as an intellectual parlour game, up can be down and left can be right, and doing the best thing morally becomes a secondary concern to winning the argument. Reasoning that sounds logical can then tell you that if you advocate something like racial reconciliation – if you want to take action to try and heal the deep wounds inflicted onto the First Australians – you, in fact, are the racist person, and how dare you?

Recognition: Yes or No? is far from a great documentary. It does present, however, a reasonably interesting if infuriating picture of a person who has their back so completely against the wall their entire public life has become an argument to justify its own existence. To say, again and again, in various different ways, Still Not Sorry. What a hell of a way to go about spending your time.

Argue with these people, sure. Come and fight the good fight, but do so understanding they are almost certainly better at this game than you. They’ve had much more experience and they’ve heard all the counter arguments before. Perhaps the most interesting thing you could query Andrew Bolt about has nothing to do with his (by now familiar) ideological perspectives. I’d like to hear somebody ask: “if you were me, and you were trying to win this argument, what would you say?” The response could be fascinating.

58 responses to “Why ABC’s ‘Recognition: Yes or No?’ proves Andrew Bolt can’t be beaten

  1. The problem is engaging on the level of that rhetoric – that is, being trapped in someone else’s proposition, especially an either/or. You just don’t have to buy it!

  2. I find Andrew Bolt objectionable, but I also find the unquestioning acceptance of race parameters if, and only if, they herald from those who identify as indigenous, as hypocritical in the extreme. Why on earth is it a given that Stan Grant is indigenous? He is of mixed ancestry and has had a decidedly privileged anglo-oriented career. Ditto Obama. He is always described as black, despite the fact his mother is Caucasian. Many of us are of mixed race ancestry (whatever that means). Endlessly trying to categorise and allocate privilege or status based on selective notions of identity perpetuate division, and divert scarce resources that would be better allocated to helping the disadvantaged, however they got there.

    1. I think Amanda would find that the two people she points out would have been historically be defined as non-white. There are plenty of examples to back that up. Depending on Amanda’s own heritage she may not be in a position to make a judgement on behalf of people whose heritage does link them to segregation, persecution and exploitation. Even for those who aren’t part of the historical experience there is still room for empathy.

    2. We are all one human race but aboriginal culture is different from ours and this needs to be acknowledged and appreciated.

      Stan Grant is ‘white’ enough to have passed as a white man and he clearly was not held too far back in his efforts to integrate and live like a white person. It may be annoying to you that he has now come around to supporting ‘his’ people. But it is about time he spoke out about the difficulties he sees that people with aboriginal ‘blood’ and ‘culture’ have fitting in to our greedy selfish culture.

      The fact that Stan did experience discrimination and racism is telling, even though he was pretty white for a black man, and it is this fact that means that aboriginal people are entitled to special treatment a treat and constitutional recognition. And we invaded. My ancestor was an invader of this country. All our wealth has come at their expense. Acknowledge it. They didn’t need us to come and bring them civilisation.

      The sort of special treatment that we in our white culture give to our own disadvantaged white people is pretty woeful. It doesn’t help our poor kids who do have a background of white culture in their upbringing. How much more difficult do you think it is for a child who is raised in an aboriginal community where the traditional beliefs and practices are still part of the culture and still passed down in the way the older people raise up the children.

      Doesn’t matter how white looking they are they are aboriginal because of their culture. Can you try and understand that?

      And about Obama and being black in America…. ffs Obama has black skin and he has suffered much racism, How can you not acknowledge how much easier his life would have been had he been a white president? Do you know how much more likely is it that an Obama look alike would be shot compared to a Andrew Bolt look alike. Skin colour matters and if you had black skin or came from a different culture, heaven forbid you might have noticed that this is a difficulty that needs to be acknowledged rather than trying to pretend that you are not racist and would treat everyone the same.

      1. White people claim to be black because of the handouts and special treatment. Aboriginal elders call them “white blackfellas”If we hadn’t “invaded” somebody else would have they could be speaking Chinese or Indonesian now. They were Stone Age hunter gatherers they were extremely lucky that we came. The Anglo culture is the world’s most successful.

      2. lovely to hear from another over educated lefty apologist whining about their white privilege being so disastrous for those poor black people.

    3. You Can’t Ask That on the ABC recently featured Indigenous people. It was surprising to me how often they differ on issues such as you’ve brought up here. If “they” can’t agree then where does that leave the rest of us?

      As for Grant – I watched him for years on SBS without realising he identified as being Indigenous. Not that it matters to me but it obviously matters to him. Reading a biography of Prince (the artist RIP) recently emphasised how people like to pigeon hole a person as black or white or whatever. Prince fought against that and was critisised by the black community for doing so. He loved women of all colour and played music with people of all colour and all sexes in whatever way he wanted. None of this “appropriating” culture BS with Prince.

    4. Amanda appears to know nothing at all about Stan Grant – she needs to either listen to him or read his book! Such appalling ignorance on this thread I did not expect to find! Bikkuri-shita!

    5. Amanda, we share a view on Mr Bolt, but I have to differ on your take on ancestry (‘whatever that means’ as you put it). Who are you, and who am I, to declare what a person should choose to be called? And who are you to declare that someone who had had a ‘decidedly privileged anglo-oriented career’ (whatever that means) can’t call himself Indigenous? Has his success disqualified him? You don’t think you’re allocating status based on ‘selective notions of identity’ by any chance?

    6. Stan Grant is given the acknowledgement as Indigenous because that is the way that he identifies and (importantly) is recognised as such by his local Indigenous community.
      Besides that, listen to his story of growing up in poverty in his Indigenous community, listening to dreaming stories, suffering the discrimination of the Indigenous.

    7. The reason that mixed race indigenous people identify with being indigenous over the other parts is that it the least socially acceptable part of themselves. To have pride in themselves/self respect, they have to be proud of the part which society is not, the part which was to be bred out of them.

      We have to acknowlege that in order for our nation and culture to prosper we had to destroy those nations and cultures that were here beforehand.

    8. I’m interested in knowing what Amanda’s ethnicity is – is she white? Because she doesn’t seem to understand how racism affects people of mixed ethnicities too – even if their skin is WHITE. Yes, Stan Grant has “passed” as white for a long time, but does that mean he hasn’t been affected by racism? Of course he has been! Every time someone has said racist things to him, particularly derogatory comments about Indigenous people, because people didn’t know that he himself is Aboriginal, he has experienced racism. I know this experience all too well. I am of mixed ethnicity – my father is a brown-skinned man of migrant background, but I have white skin. All my life I’ve had people speak ill of non-white people, of Asian people; out-and-out racism – freely to my face, because of my skin colour. I must admit I do enjoy watching the squirm when I inform them that “I too am Asian” (reply: “what..what.. Oh no I didn’t mean THOSE kinds of Asians…”) or that one half of my family have brown skin (“well… um… you don’t LOOK…”). Yes. It hurts. A LOT. Obama is described as black, because OPEN YOUR EYES – he IS. And I am of Asian descent, whether you can see it or not – and any time I hear a racist opinion it affects me personally. You just can’t tell by looking at a person.

    9. “The unquestioning acceptance of race parameters” occurs because almost 50% or our population are barely literate and an even greater number have an understanding of vocabulary and syntax that denies them any real opportunity of rational or logical argument. – These are the people who make up the majority of the audiences for the shock jocks and offensive, opinionated, simpletons of the ilk of Steve Price, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and the rest.

      “Indigenous”, applies to someone born in a particular place and /or characterising the aspects of the people who inhabit that place.” In effect, that means that anyone born in Australia is indigenous to Australia. [To explore this interpretation more fully I would strongly recommend Germaine Greer’s essay, published as “White fella jump up”, if I remember correctly.]

      The confusion comes, of course, because the real “indigenous” people of this land are the First Australians, the Aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders. These people are not “Australians” for Australia was not founded until 1901. Neither have the invaders of this country followed its traditions, culture or characteristics. Instead, a foreign and alien culture has been forced on the real indigenous people of this land and myriad attempts have been made to erase, eliminate, ignore, defile or demean their culture and, at the same time, to *blame them* for their reluctance, difficulty, unwillingness or resentment at failing to become “Australians” rather than indigenes of the land that has nurtured them and that they have nurtured for at least 50,000 years.

      That such a program can be produced by and aired on the ABC is an insult to all peoples of Australia, a particular insult to the remaining dedicated staff of the ABC and a travesty of broadcasting.

      There is little doubt, of course, that such an eventuality has come about because of the stacking of the ABC Board with LNP favouring individuals and, more importantly because of the appointment as CEO of an ex FOX hack who has stated that the ABC needs to be brought into the 21st Century and modernised through the device of broadcasting more “reality” tv shows such as “The Biggest Loser”. Clearly, this woman has no idea of what constitutes the real significance of a public broadcaster nor what constitutes worthwhile content.

      In my view, the last chance the ABC had for rejuvenation ended with the obtuse and self-flagellating decision of enough of the electorate as to return another mindless, visionless and self-serving LNP government.

      The only hope for sound and incisive television production and reporting from his point, is for enough good journalists and honest backers to get together and produce an independent channel, much in the way that traditional media has produced a thriving independent hard copy and, more importantly, online alternative.

      Andrew Bolt has claimed that there is no one else who is as non-racist as is he. That, in one sense only, may be true: Andrew Bolt only knows one race and that is his own. He can therefore neither see nor appreciate any other and thus cannot denigrate it. The paradox being, of course, that with that view he denigrates it absolutely.

  3. Bolt’s central argument -that giving recognition to Indigenous Australians as the first inhabitants of this land is racist – is so asinine a child could beat him Why are you conceding to hm, and giving him such credibility.?

  4. Professional muck rakers are not interested in resolving issues, just inflaming points of difference.
    When enough people tire of the incessant reframing of the question the ratings drop and they fade from view, until the next time.

    there is always just enough reactionary elements who need to hear their own bias/prejudice reaffirmed to sustain this presence..
    so what to do?

    Tune out altogether,
    let others fight the good fight..until exhaustion allows such reactionary bile to win the day because there is no opposition

    or perhaps just ignore and they will go away, denied the oxygen of opposition there is little to rail against.

    No..fight the good fight.
    These attitudes and calculated ignorance cannot be let go unchallenged.

    -just to point out Bolt was found to mis represent the subjects of his article. It was n to deemed racist, just poor journalism devoid of research.
    The entire 18C discussion can be deflated if the whole section 18 legislation is read together.
    Section 18D provides exceptions to 18C for fair comment in the media.

    Bolt was found to not be up to journalistic standards and did not make fair comment under the law.
    The decision was as much about fair reporting and comment as explicit racism.

    however, a few facts has not prevented a reframing of the argument to create a new ‘victim’..
    given we are now an entirely consumer society, there is clearly a slice of the market to which this product is appealing.
    whether this can be categorised as ‘mainstream’ in a fragmented media space remains to be seen.
    ratings will tell!
    some like a train wreck…others not so much.

  5. The other problem is that Bolt is making his living from attracting eyeballs and ears by being outrageously right wing. His job is not to persuade, or even argue logically, his job is to attract enough people to a site to persuade advertisers to buy advertising on it for the commercial media for which he works. Any changing by him of others minds is just (for media owners) a happy side effect of earning money. Nothing you can say will stop Bolt or win the argument, because that would also mean he would need to find a new job.

  6. I’d never heard any of the shock jock names you mention, Luke, till I returned to Australia seven years ago – after nearly two decades in Japan. Zemanek remains only a name and Steve Price I would not have recognised if not for his appalling presentation (why, Tony Jones, invite HIS ignorant presence?) – only Bolt – for all his right-wing ideological baiting stands out (note I do not write “is outstanding” for fear of being misunderstood). Many years ago I had the privilege of working in a unit alongside another in which the much younger Linda Burney worked – along with truly stellar colleagues. The inspiration spun me into formal tertiary studies about Indigenous Australia – which continue till now. And include reading Stan Grant and attending one of his public speech presentations. Thanks for this analysis – I shall be watching for the Bolt style and commiserations that your own gotcha attempt way back when did not quite come off! It seems to me the lessons learnt then are now informing us all on the swiftly being pulled on us by the newly veering to the far right ABC! So many thanks!

  7. It seems you me, based on Luke’s reporting of the Grant/Bolt interaction that Bolt needs to be told that his definition of race is wrong when he talks about the constitutional recognition being divisive and therefore racist. Racism in the first instance is the practise of attributing a set of negative attributes or motives to an entire class of people based on some perceived commonality among those people which defines them as a class. This may lead to division but, as can be seen in modern Australia, racism can happily flourish without leading to separation or outright segregation. The constitutional change recognises a historical fact, that in itself is benign and doesn’t necessarily give rise to any other cause of action. It may be racist if it goes on to attribute the actions of the invaders to the whiteness of their race but I’d be surprised if it does that.
    I’m surprised that no one has attacked Bolt over his personal definition of racism which, as with many of his so called arguments, is at odds with mainstream scholarship and more often than not, common sense.

    1. You shouldn’t be surprised. It would be a waste of time. Thing is, if Bolt or someone like him hadn’t been selected to do this doco then he would have screamed ABC bias. So you select him and he thoroughly abuses the chance he’s been given. Thus it has always been. You will get no satisfaction from engaging with Bolt because he isn’t open to ideas and, as Luke says, he is very good at what he does. If you try to shame him he will play victim. If you ask him a question he doesn’t want you’ll find all of a sudden the subject has been changed. The goal posts are always moving and he’s always the one doing it. In fact, it’s a waste of my time writing this comment, so I’ll stop now.

    1. Yeah right. Two commentators and suddenly the score is even. I often wonder if you rank lefties ever got beyond kindergarten, fair dinkum.
      Your brains and maths never developed it seems

      1. With the right wing bias of Australia’s commercial networks, the ABC board and management, could consist of Karl Marx, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (AKA Lenin), Trotsky, Mao, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh and Australia’s press coverage would still have a far right agenda. The ABC is the only national network that is required to present an even and unbiased coverage of current affairs. And remember the commercial networks like to aim programs to 7 year olds, turning an adults brain to mush before brainwashing the masses.

  8. Still can’t get past Bolt’s reaction to the Goode’s saga and how he manipulated Goode’s celebratory dance to an act of aggression, and then went on and on about that poor 13 year old girl who called Goode’s an ape ( sitting next to her grandmother..yet not reprimanded!) It was, according to Bolt all Goodes’ fault and the girl was a blameless victim.

    1. Yes and I had arguments with people on fb (but who I personally know in real life) that are usually very nice who had been completely sucked in by the Bolt argument. It staggered me how they couldn’t see that they’d been manipulated and when I presented evidence that Goodes had spoken to the girl, they’d made their peace and he had asked that she not be vilified or attacked for what she’d done because she is just a girl, they just ignored it and continued to champion her ’cause’ which of course resulted in the vilification of Goodes. Then the number of excuses people came up with or latched onto to continue their racist vilification was amazing. ‘He was getting it because he deserves it for attacking the little defenceless girl.’ ‘He’s a flog and we defend our right to boo him because he’s a flog etc., conveniently forgetting that Goodes was a 2 time Brownlow medalist.’ ‘He shouldn’t have done that dance where he threatened us (with an imaginary spear!)’ I had never heard the word flog until it started to be used then but it suddenly became the word of the moment. Even my brother in law said he was just getting booed because he was a flog, to which I pointed out the fact that this was consistently happening week after week when he wasn’t even near the ball, and had he heard of this happening to anyone else for being a ‘flog’? He realised I had a point but he’d been sucked into the way everyone was portraying it and he’s a very intelligent man. It was a disgusting episode in our history which has gone quiet but hasn’t gone away, and all lead by the reprehensible Bolt. Bolt, Price, Jones, Hadley et al are very dangerous and should not be given the platforms that they have.

  9. The answer as to why anyone is good at winning an ideological argument is because they understand who and what they are dealing with. The rest is just tactics. As the Chinese military genius Sun Tzu once famously said, “Know your enemy as yourself and you can go through a thousand battles without distress”.

    In particular, ideological holy cows and causes celebre are particularly at risk, because these articles of faith are always vulnerable to their own irrationality; particularly in an age where the pressures are making it harder to make faith and reason meet in the middle, for faith without reason is blind and reason without faith is unanchored and uncompassed.

    Thus the market libertarian neo-cons cannot face up to the fallibility of markets and the science of climate change. Religious fundamentalists cannot come to terms with Darwinism. Major financial institutions around the world almost cannibalized their own system in 2008 because they can no longer distinguish between legitimate profit and theft.

    On the other side, the libertarian humanists are just as irrationally blindsided when comes to their own key narratives around indigenous affairs, marriage, family life and sexual politics, asylum seekers, long term welfare dependence, multiculturalism and religious diversity .

    They are so ideologically blunted they cannot tell the difference between rights and indulgence, compassion and a soft touch, ‘disadvantage’ and dysfunctionality, freedom and disinhibited life without boundaries, ‘justice’ and sectional interest, ‘fairness’ and special pleading, equality and equivalencing, toughness and ‘abuse’. treason and ‘dissent’, ‘judgementality’ and the ordinary exercise of judgement. ‘discrimination’ and intellectual discernment and so on and so forth. There are far too many examples to enumerate here

    Delusionalism is nobody’s monopoly.

    Everyone is into their own version of denial and head-in-the-sandism because as the modern era winds down, all the deeply faulted sides in the market and social libertarian firmament of late Indulgence capitalism are heading for the rubbish dumps at the bottom of the valley of the shadow of marginalization

    1. If you believe in anything you can be lampooned, demonised or glorified to suit whatever the agenda. Fanatics believe to justify an obsessive unbalanced point of view.

  10. For the sake of creating a better understanding of the situation, let’s just acknowledge that Bolt is an intellectually challenged individual who makes a living writing for like-minded morons who are stuck in a colonial mindset of racial superiority. His unquestionable ignorance of Indigenous history and culture probably stems from a privileged upbringing of arrogant of Dutch origin who viewed colonialism as the strong and superior race attempting to tame animals as opposed to seeing primitive civilisations as people whose culture and country was the essence of their existence. I am not saying that Dutch people from comfortable backgrounds are all idiots, but, if I exercised the same mentality as Bolt I would assert it as the truth. When Bolt is so intent on changing 18C, I wonder if he is offended by my pointing out of his Dutch background? Or am I then guilty of vilification because of his delusions of white superiority and my equating white people with being culturally insensitive and intellectually inferior? By the way, I am white.

  11. Who cares the other person just not wants to hear them? Why bother to be surprised that the ABC is having Howard and Bolt on the telly, let’s just turn it off, the less viewers the better for this dross. It has been on the cards for some time that the ABC, the Herald etc.etc. are forced (or want?) to present ‘balanced’ programs. The interviewing is more and more becoming dilitantist, which may not be because the right is winning the arguments, but you have not learned how to and which question to ask, and certainly have not learned to keep throwing it at them.

  12. What an echo-chamber! Anyone who dares to not parrot the left’s narrow, accepted narrative on any issue receives the same treatment.
    Andrew Bolt is the most read and admired journalist in Australia because he argues his corner fearlessly and persuasively and refuses to be corralled by the thought police.
    The idea that dear old Aunty is now far right because 2 conservatives are involved in 2 documentaries is absolutely bonkers.
    It may be very comforting to exist in a safe space, but there is an interesting world outside if you dare to venture out and open your eyes and minds.

      1. LOL alt right death squads in the first world. Could you Name the Aussie death squads, the members , who they have assassinated please and when/ where in Australia are they ? I don’t think a death squad is sole property of the alt right mate. Are you stuck in 1930 Germany as a source of comparison lets help you a bit. Tired old Nazi argument. Ummm how about Stalin.? Pot.?Castro.?such a hollow comparison of political consequence and facile

  13. So, if a comment is at variance with the thrust of the author it gets the flick.
    What a totalitarian joke.
    Go to the Bolt blog and check out the variety.
    Echo chamber city.

  14. When I am in need of a larf I read Bolt. His defence of Pell was one such example of his twisted and inane logic, as is his claims of racism are about the proposed changes to the Constitution. Stan Zemanek was a dinosaur.

  15. If you live by defining citizens in terms of racial identity, don’t be surprised if you die (figuratively) by the same means. Bolt is just very good at pulling the trigger.

  16. Bolt subverts facts to suit his agenda. Unfortunately he and his supporters lambast those who disagree with his opinions. His aim is to “shock” and divide. Fortunately his audience seems to be shrinking.

  17. Nice writing Luke. I think you are onto something with your central premise around morality.
    We could, quite clearly address the wrongs of the past, in a small symbolic way by addressing the uncontested historical fact that aboriginal people were here first, and that us whitey’s took the land from them.
    We could of course go one step further and declare at least one public holiday to reflect and celebrate our first nations.
    In Victoria we currently have a day off for a horse race, one for a game of football, I reckon we could spare another.
    I can’t see how this could be considered divisive, unless as you argue (or at least I think you argue) that the offended parties are being more than a little disingenuous.

    Bolt plays the race card without having any skin in the game. That should come as no surprise as self reflection is not his strong point.

    1. Nice one, Luke!
      And Paul and others.
      There are just two rules to remember:

      1. Nothing matters here except self-aggrandisement: WIN the argument.
      Therefore, do whatever it takes. Therefore it is useful to begin with rules that rule your opposition out before they open their mouths. See 2.

      2. Mention RACE and you are racist by (shock-jock and kind) definition. (Ha! We got you right there. You uttered the four-letter word! Game over.)

  18. As a 59 year old white Australian male I feel the need of conservative commentators like Bolt and Price. If it wasn’t for their mindless pontificating of their outdated, divisive and hateful agenda, I wouldn’t know what to think.
    I just listen to what they say and just think the opposite.
    But then unlike Andrew, I’m not a first gen Australian, my family has lived in Adelaide for over 150 year. Maybe that’s the reason I’m willing to accept reconciliation and recognition.
    Bolt saying he’s not racist, is like saying, the South Africans were not racist in their establishment of Apartheid. Weren’t they Dutch White supremacists?
    If Bolt isn’t racist why is he so anti 18C?
    As a South Australian, listening to Cory talking – sorry I can’t say what I think, I don’t have Parliamentary privilege.
    I’m voting ‘Yes’ because I look forward not in losing thousands of years of European history but in inheriting 70,000 years of Australian history.

    1. Totally agree with you Robert. That sums up the whole argument and I think it is time we put things right.
      I do believe that mixed race people here and abroad should be proud of their mixed ancestry. To deny is to deny the blood line of their children.
      But I don’t get it because we are all mixed somewhere in the past whether it’s Anglo Saxon or celts you name it’s all there. Most importantly we are earthlings

  19. What difference does it make what ethnicity Amanda is? Does that make it easier for you then to pass judgement on her comments? Does it assist you in categorising and pigeon holing her points of view? I am of dual ancestory based on nationality, yes nationality not race. There is only one race. However my nationality is Australian. Why? Because I was born and raised here. I embrace both of my parents nationalities, I don’t choose one over the other but again I am Australian. It saddens me that people are so quick to judge based on ethnicity. I find it disturbing that some aboriginies denounce or give the impression that the only nationality that is of any value is the aboriginal half of their ancestory for those that are mixed. Apparently the social shame/embarrasment they have had to endure is because of their aborigonal heritage when, as in tonights program, Linda Burney did not embrace her Scottish heritage one iota. It was as if she was ashamed to admit that her mother was Scottish. Why is this? Does it not help the cause? It’s interesting and not surprising to see that the author of this article instead of really looking at the arguments raised in the show and leaving it at that, prefers to personally attack Andrew Bolt. I guess if you can’t win slate the oponent, media for the SJW’s who proclaim tolerance but time after time demonstrate their intolerance of anyone who has a differing view.

  20. ‘Tis a pity that there is no addressing of the ball here.
    All focus on the supposed interpretation of the personal characteristics of the proponents of ideas and concepts.
    Debate the idea not the perceived persona of the messenger.

  21. I have learnt something –
    didn’t reconciliation is a moral issue- I thought reconcile something
    is to simply to find a solution regarding coming together.
    A little bit like an old custodian handing over to the new custodian when they had a
    differentiation of opinion.

  22. The solution to Bolt “The Balt”, along with Jones, Hanson, et al, is: – simply ignore them. Don’t give them oxygen, Refuse to debate their absurdities.

    The mainstream media, of course, doesn’t help.

    There is a fine dividing line between responsibility and sensationalism. Given the media enjoy a privileged position within our community, we often cut them too much slack. Perhaps only Daily Review, The Monthly, Crikey, etc. are the best of them because they are critical of the neo-cons who make up both a significant of media proprietorship and their “voices” of commentariat whom they employ.

    Did I mention Fearless Peter Fitzsimons who, great ex-rugby-forward that he is, never fails to put the boot into Jones, “The Balt” and others, inviting them to sue, or retaliate, if they have the intestinal fortitude? They never do, because of the cowardice they exhibit when confronted with an implacable foe. It also helps that he could breathe their way and they’d collapse like the pack of on-dimensional Joker
    cards they are.

    Stand up to these idealogues by ignoring them..

  23. Bolt is a serial liar. It’s been proved in court, on the media, on the airwaves. What is this all about? What a waste of time.

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